Managing Consciously

The event opened with a fireside chat between Sinéad Condon, Chief People Office at Guidewire Software and Genevieve Stow, Director of Outreach and Sponsorship at ISC Group, which explored the ideas of conscious management. Sinéad explained what it looks like when someone is managing consciously and its value when it comes to appreciating the needs of each, individual team member. The pair also discussed the role a manager plays in creating an environment that allows team members to feel capable of self-advocating as well as the importance of self-advocating.

Following this discussion, the attendees were split into break-out rooms to deliberate on these topics further. The first breakout room focused on evaluation of the attendees’ current work experience, including the environment and management style. The second room was more introspective and asked what the blockers to self-advocacy were and if attendees felt they had the space to self-advocate.

The first breakout room focused on evaluation of the attendees’ current work experience, including the environment and management style. The second room was more introspective and asked what the blockers to self-advocacy were and if attendees felt they had the space to self-advocate. Below are the key takeaways from the session.

  • Leadership becomes more conscious as you become more senior, at the start of a career, management is often more directive and task focused at the outset
  • Attendees voiced a lack of knowledge around what was required for self-advocacy as it was not something they had previously considered
  • Some were concerned about how they would be perceived when trying to self-advocate particularly in a male heavy environment
  • A feeling that it’s easier to self-advocate when you feel confident and comfortable. This is a good reflection on the importance of environment
  • A virtual environment is a double-edged sword; it creates greater privacy for self-advocacy discussions but lacks the value of face-to-face interactions
  • "Co-creation designing" was stressed as a good solution to difficulty around finding the correct words to express need and for changing the environment. Intentionality before a discussion creates value for both parties and ensures a manager also feels safe in the discussion. Consider the arc of your discussion, where is it going to start and how are you leading into the commitment and action at the close? These conversations are bi-directional.